Cars People Hate To Admit Are Fast

Drag racing is ingrained into American car culture, right alongside big egos that hate to give credit where credit is due.

There are three things you need to know to fully appreciate this article:

One: People have different definitions when it comes to fast good sports cars. Those of us with daily drivers generally understand a 14-second quarter-mile time is pretty respectable and grin-inducing for a sport sedan. Dedicated drag racers with purpose-built missiles find anything over 11 seconds to be rather boring. And then you have the bench racers that trash talk anyone not driving an 8-second Supra. For our purposes, let’s focus on that daily driver category.

Two: When it comes to classifying something as fast, context matters. These days it’s not tough to find fairly inexpensive, factory stock performance cars that can run a 13-second quarter-mile. Step back just a decade, however, and you’ll find such performance was a bit more exclusive.

Three: I don’t care how fast your car is. Unless you have an 8000bhp top fuel dragster, you will eventually match up with a car that’s faster. And because karma has such a wonderful sense of humour, your ego will probably be shattered by something you aren’t particularly fond of.

That brings me to this list of six cool cars that many people don’t like to admit are actually rather fast. I’m not talking about sleepers per se – I suspect enthusiasts are familiar with most of these cars. I’m talking about cars that, for varying reasons, just don’t get much respect despite having some legitimate performance cred.

1. Honda Civic


Mention JDM Civic to virtually any muscle car guy and the requisite response usually involves laughing, a few choice expletives, and zero respect. Yes, there are plenty of wannabe Civics that reinforce the ricer stereotype, but Honda Civic Type R hatchback versions have been tearing up race tracks for years. Even the modest Si versions we’ve had in the States pack enough power to surprise the V8 crowd every now and then. But you’ll never hear them admit it – even when they get spanked by one. And let's not forget that the Honda Civic mpg is great!

Click here to See the New TYPE R

2. Dodge Neon SRT-4

srt neon

It didn’t take long for the Dodge Neon to become the epitome of American throw-away cars. One of the best American sporty 4 door sedan s. In reality, the Neon was a properly good track car, and when Dodge bolted a turbo to its 2.4-litre engine in 2003, it became properly quick as well. Initially offered with 215bhp, power rose to 230bhp for 2004 and 2005 – enough to shuffle this throwaway car to a 13.9-second quarter mile time. For the record, that’s B6 Audi S4 territory, and enough to dog an E46 M3 well past 100mph.


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